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Going Under The Adze

Fremad II motors down a Norwegian fjord. 

Fremad II motors down a Norwegian fjord. 

Built in 1888 in England, Fremad II has sailed under more than one name in her nearly 130-year life. Originally named Boy Jack, the vessel ended up in Norway in the early 1900s and was renamed Fremad, which translates to “forward” in Norwegian. She received her first internal combustion engine in 1920 and was renamed again, this time as Fremad II.

Graceful and slippery, Fremad II’s beauty also has a rugged side, being designed for the rough-and-tumble fishing conditions in the North Sea. Though she may not seem very fast by today’s standards, Fremad II was known for her speed, being capable of top speeds of 9 knots. Fremad II spent the majority of her life fishing for herring and crab among the rugged Norwegian fjords.

The historic ship is currently undergoing a top-to-bottom restoration at the Hardanger Ship Preservation Center in Vågå, Norway. This video shows a Hardanger shipwright using a mix of traditional and modern tools — from a chainsaw to an adze — to handcraft a new section for Fremad II’s stern.

The museum expects Fremad II to be complete sometime in 2020. You can follow the ship’s progress by visiting the museum’s blog. Though the site is written in Norwegian, it can be easily translated in a Google Translate query. 

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